How BuildPass Hired a School Teacher & Event Manager as Their First SDRs

Our journey helping an early-stage Aussie startup hire two junior sales reps who hit 130% of target and were running demos within two months

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Interviews per hire
2.5
Average time to fill roles
5 days
Rep performance in first 6 months
130%
We know that the Earlywork candidates are top quality before they start the program...the quality of candidates has been much higher than those applying online.
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Matt Perrott
CEO @BuildPass
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The Challenge

Finding their first two Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), who need to be comfortable with high ownership & ambiguity

Despite initial success with customers, BuildPass hadn’t yet built out a proven, repeatable end-to-end sales model.

As such, there was only so much they could teach potential hires vs. finding people who could figure out the gaps themselves.

"Sometimes, the best salespeople don't know they will actually be good at sales yet." - Matt Perrott, CEO, Co-founder

In trying job listings & referrals, Matt wasn’t seeing talent that would be comfortable with high ownership & ambiguity. Someone having sales experience didn’t necessarily mean they’d be the right fit for an early-stage environment, especially one selling to builders.

Having led sales himself without a formal background in sales, Matt knew there were people with the raw skills to succeed who weren’t even applying to startup sales roles in the first place.

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Earlywork is a community full of the smartest and most ambitious young people.
Matt Perrott
Matt Perrott
CEO @BuildPass
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The Solution

Turning to Earlywork Academy

Matt had been an early member of the Earlywork community, and was drawn to both the strong early-career audience & upfront quality filtering done through the Academy.

"We know that the Earlywork candidates are top quality before they start the program, and that they have a good base skillset as a result. Earlywork has done the difficult vetting process already through the strength of their brand…the quality of candidates has been much higher than those applying online.” - Matt Perrott

Meeting candidates who had already been vetted for ambition, resilience & interpersonal skills, plus had been trained in SDR fundamentals, made a huge difference to the quality and speed of interviews Matt had.

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Earlywork has definitely been my smartest education investment so far.
Sam Wardle-Reid
Sam Wardle-Reid
SDR @BuildPass
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Earlywork has definitely been my smartest education investment so far.
Sam Wardle-Reid
Sam Wardle-Reid
SDR @BuildPass
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The Results

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Hired two SDRs much faster than industry averages, with fewer interviews needed

In their first year as a partner, BuildPass hired two SDRs through Earlywork from backgrounds many startups would normally write off. The first, Mia, joined BuildPass in July 2023 with a background in Event Management and Real Estate. The second, Sam joined BuildPass in December 2023, with a background as a Primary School Teacher and Zookeeper.

For the average SDR role, it takes interviews with 21 candidates and 46 days to make a hire. BuildPass only needed to interview 2.5 Earlywork fellows per hire and it took an average of just 5 days to fill each role!

Both SDRs have ramped quickly and outperformed targets

Mia progressed very quickly through her ramp period, smashing demo quotas and hitting 130% of ambitious targets. 6 months later, she’s now running end-to-end enterprise deals across Australia.

"The Earlywork team went above & beyond in ensuring I was as prepared as possible for my tech transition." - Mia M.

For Sam, less than 2 months in, he’s outperforming targets for demos booked and has already progressed to running demos for smaller deals. Having worked in the education industry, Earlywork’s unique approach to training left an impression on him:

"Earlywork has definitely been my smartest educational investment so far, as it’s the only one that has struck a fine balance between offering concise content, effective mentorship, diversified network and a confident job guarantee that other institutions have failed to do for me till now." - Sam Wardle-Reid

Here’s what co-founder Matt had to say about the start both reps have made with BuildPass:

Their rapid progression exceeded all expectations and both are already on the pathway to becoming full-fledged account executives. They’re not afraid to jump into the unknown, always show proactivity and are comfortable with changing processes. - Matt Perrott

By focusing on attitude & culture fit over experience, and partnering with Earlywork to meet vetted, pre-trained talent, BuildPass has transitioned from founder-led sales to a team of reps that have laid the foundations for repeatable growth.

If you’re a startup looking to hire sales reps who are comfortable navigating the unknown, come find the next Mia & Sam with us

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